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January 22, 2019

Why Meru, Tharaka Nithi are unhappy with Uhuru's development record

Igembe Central MP Kubai Kiringo at his office on October 31, 2018. /DENNIS DIBONDO
Igembe Central MP Kubai Kiringo at his office on October 31, 2018. /DENNIS DIBONDO

Remarks by Mt Kenya leaders that Jubilee has neglected the region is just a narrative to invoke the 2022 succession plan debate, with the aim of positioning President Uhuru Kenyatta in power post-2022. 

One of the leaders, who did not want to be named,  said the region has not groomed anybody to take over from President Kenyatta as the region kingpin in the 2022 polls.

 "The ongoing debate  and leaders is not about development. With the clamour to amend the Constitution seemingly inevitable, and the narrative that Uhuru is too young to retire, some MPs from Mt Kenya might support constitutional changes to have a Prime Minister position to accommodate Uhuru," the source said. 

Igembe Central MP Kubai Kiringo said the Jubilee government development agenda is not satisfactory, as it promised so many things in Meru.

"A year down the line since Jubilee was elected, very little is happening. Inasmuch as we talk about budgetary constrains, it is not good for leaders to  promise what  they cannot deliver. The Jubilee government should go back to the drawing board and at least honour 50 per cent of what they promised," Kiringo said.

He said that a road in Igembe that was almost being awarded a contract was stopped as soon as the President said no new contracts should start before the ongoing ones are completed.

"I will be the one  receiving end  if the road does not commence as President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto are in  Nairobi. Such instances can cost the party it support at the grassroots," Kiringo said.

He said Meru MPs have agreed to write all projects promised by Jubilee and forward it party secretary general Raphael Tuju for action so that  they can rejuvenate the supporters.

"Currently in Igembe people might stone you if you tell them you are registering Jubilee members because they are not happy," Kiringo said

James Mithika,  an ally of Ruto and former URP chairman, said Mt Kenya is being short-changed in resource allocation.

"Mount Kenya overwhelmingly voted for Jubilee but a lot of emphasis has been put on marginalised counties. Even the procedure of allocating the Equalisation Fund is different for counties outside Mt Kenya,"Mithika said

He said development funds should be distributed according to population and not size.

Residents in Tigania East  are also unhappy heavy government taxation, including the  eight per cent VAT on fuel.

Tharaka Nithi MCAS have also shown displeasure with the government.

Wilson Nyaga (Muthambi) said the county has been sidelined, despite supporting previous regimes.

Nyaga was among 12 MCAS that pledged to support Gideon Moi's 2022 presidential bid. 

They said despite numerous trips by Deputy President William Ruto there are no tangible development projects as in other counties a clear indication that Tharaka Nithi has been left in the cold.



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